only escaping or also loving?
"Return to the Lord." —Hosea 14:3
Like the prodigal son, we may have run away from home (Lk 15:13), done our own thing, and collapsed through our guilt (Hos 14:2). We are sick of seeing pigs live a better life than we do (see Lk 15:16-17). Finally, we decide to get out of sin and ask the Lord's forgiveness.
The Lord rejoices to see us, for He wants to heal our defection and turn His wrath away from us (Hos 14:5). The only problem is that the Lord wants to love us freely (Hos 14:5). He wants to love us more than we want to be loved. We are afraid of grasping fully "the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love" (Eph 3:18). If we do, we will become aware of our responsibility to love the Lord with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength (Mk 12:30). To love like that, we would have to deny our very selves (see Lk 9:23). We would have to repent, not only because selfishness and sin are dead ends, but because God is Love (1 Jn 4:16), Who has loved us perfectly, constantly, and infinitely.
Does your repentance consist primarily of leaving the bad and self-destructive, or are you repenting to return to your Lord and Love? Are you trying merely to stay out of hell, or do you want to see Jesus face to face in heaven?
Prayer: Father, I want to love You more than to feel good or to go to heaven.
Promise: "Israel I would feed with the best of wheat, and with honey from the rock I would fill them." —Ps 81:17
Praise: Jesus touched Alice's life so deeply that her abandonment to Him is still total despite the murder of her daughter and the terminal illness of her husband.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Divine Love on audio AV 52-3 or video V-52.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014
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